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Telethon raises $73,625
Number of donors up significantly
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An increase in small donors giving everything from $10 to $100 helped the Boys & Girls Club of Manteca/Lathrop raise $73,625 during their annual two-day telethon that ended Tuesday night.

It helped counter, in part, a drop in major donations from firms hit hard by the recession. The goal had been $125,000. Organizers, though, were encouraged by the significant increase in small donors as people stepped up to help the club serving 1,500 in any way they could.

“We will make it work,” said Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Charlie Halford. “We appreciate everyone who helped us. It will go a long way.”

Halford noted the club is working on some additional funding options.
“It is $73,000 we didn’t have and we’re grateful for it,” Halford said.

The club, like other non-profits, has been hit hard by The Great Recession. Halford has been taking just half of his salary to make sure staff dealing directly with kids wasn’t cut back further especially in light of attendance being up due to parents no longer being able to afford day care while working jobs that oftentimes have had hours reduced.

“We saw our old faithful come through and a lot of new people also step up to help make sure kids have a positive place to go,” noted Manteca Public Affairs officer Rex Osborn who served as the main host.

The biggest live auction items in terms of money generated was the wine tasting and dinner with Manteca’s first family of wine – the Indelicatos. The item brought in over $800.

Other big items included the double date with Manteca firefighter John Viss and Manteca Fire Captain Dave Marques that brought in at least $350 based on posted bids.

South San Joaquin Irrigation District board member John Holbrook paid $375 for golf lessons and clubs quipping that “I’m not too good at golf so this is my chance to learn.”

Holbrook and his wife are perennial supporters of the club and other youth programs.

Manning the phones this year were church groups, firefighters, law enforcement officers, youth groups, individuals, Del Webb at Woodbridge residents, and volunteers with the Manteca Police and Manteca Fire departments, organizations such as Knights of Columbus and Manteca Rotary to the Manteca Soroptimists, dentists, and new home builders as well as other groups.

The club serves 1,500 youth in Manteca and Lathrop. Membership is $24 a year while the cost to serve each kid is in excess of $300. More than 50 percent of the budget is generated through local donations while the rest are in the form of various public and private grants.

The telethon was carried live by Comcast as it has been since its inception.